Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Out of the Shadows 2019

Today, September 10th, is World Sucide Prevention Day, and the start of World Suicide Prevention Week.  I spend time in the dark places myself and know both how fast and easy the plummet to the bottom can be and how very hard it is to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel much less climb out again. 

Most of you know I do voluntary work with Lifeline Australia, a telephone crisis line.  Almost everyone who rings those lines with thoughts of suicide has at least a degree of ambivalence.  I, and all the other volunteers, will work on that ambivalence to keep the caller safe for the moment/the day and to help them see and consider other options.   Lifeline believes that suicide is often preventable and that the start of the journey to safety can be only a phone call away.  It is often a long and painful journey but should never ever be one that people feel condemned to walk alone.

Here in Australia suicide is still the leading cause of death for people aged under 44.  More people die from suicide each year than are killed on the roads.  Sadly the numbers of people we lose to suicide are rising again.  Which, given that I suspect suicide is under reported, is scary.

Not only does suicide take its toll on our young, there are other groups who are over-represented in its tragic ranks including (but not limited to) our indigenous population, the LGBTQI community, people with mental health issues, farmers, tradesmen, the unemployed, and the military.  While we still lose more men to suicide than women, the numbers of women who die to suicide is climbing (an equality I don't want). 

Our suicide rate isn't the highest in the world but the rate in Australia is above the World Health Organisation's (WHO) global average.

In 2011 Lifeline began  national suicide prevention walks - 'Out of the Shadows and into the Light'. The walks begin before dawn and continue into the growing light.  It remembers those lost and those bereaved by suicide, with an additional focus on raising awareness.  The symbolism of starting the walk in the dark and progressing into the light of a new day means a lot to me.  Some centres start their walk later (ten or eleven) to attract more people and publicity.  I can see why, but am glad that our walks start in the dark.

I don't think that all suicide is wrong, particularly given our euthanasia laws.  However, it is such a final decision that I hope it is not the first option considered or tried.  And, as a solution to a temporary problem, I do think it is wrong.  Right or wrong it is always a tragedy.  A tragedy for the person who had, or believed they had, no other options and a tragedy for those they leave behind.  And the ripples from that tragedy encompass a lot of people.  Research shows that each time someone suicides, there are up to 135 people affected.  In addition there is strong evidence that if someone close to you dies by suicide your own chances of taking that path are dramatically increased.  

I couldn't attend the first walk, but have gone on all the subsequent walks. Which saw me heading off again before dawn this morning.  The dread disease (teemed with bursitis? of the hip) slows me down, ensures my gait is uneven and is painful.  The issue is much more important than I am.    So I walked.  Slowly just as I do every year.  Stopping to take photos.

There were brief speeches.  Some of the names and ages of those lost were read out - which I find moving.  No longer nameless, but identified and missed...  This morning the ages ranged from 16 to 84.  Most of the names with an age attached were teenagers.  There was also an acknowledgement that there are names we do not know, which doesn't diminish their loss.

Come walk with me, through the cool dawn, into the hopeful light of a new day.


The empty chairs from other years have been replaced with candles to symbolise the light(s) lost.  Some people carried a candle with them as they walked.













Today I walked with a woman whose only daughter had died by suicide.  At the end of the walk she said that there was a comfort in sharing the walk with people who had felt similar pain, and in being able to talk about it.



RU OK day (September 14) is also celebrated in World Suicide Prevention Week.  A  simple question we should be asking family, friends and colleagues every day.




Some services and links which may be useful for Australian readers include:
Lifeline 1311 14
Suicide Call Back Service

126 comments:

  1. God bless you in this work, Elephant's Child.

    There was a tragedy here in the US a few years ago. Many people were lost. I did not know any of them, but feel strongly that I lost someone that day, a friend that I will now never meet. Suicide is like that too. We, each one if us, are meant to be here. There was a time in my youth when I was delivered from what I call a spirit of suicide. I wrote about it on my blog. I truly believe human beings need a connection to our creator. That hopelessness is because something is off, something is broken. We are not made to walk alone.

    "Come walk with me, through the cool dawn, into the hopeful light of a new day."

    There is verse similar to this in the book of Genesis about God walking in the garden of Eden in the cool of the day, looking for Adam and Eve. They were hiding because they had just eaten the apple, but God wanted to be with them.

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    1. Sandi: 'a friend I will now never meet' is such a moving thought - and a beautiful way to put it. I am so glad you found a way to escape the spirit of suicide. As you know, I am not a believer, but I am so happy that you (and others) find support and comfort.

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  2. I agree with Sandi, God bless you in this work Elephant's Child. I know you are a beacon of light because you brighten my life through your words and photos (as well as your actions). Your photos are very moving. This past Mother's Day weekend, our neighbor took his life. He lived alone and had some medical problems, but we didn't realize he was in the state he was in. His son, who found him, said he had threatened suicide several times but had never seemed really serious about. We had only known him less than a year and rarely talk to him as he kept to himself a lot. But his suicide continues to touch us today wondering what if we had known he was so troubled. Could we have made a difference. Bless you for what you. Take care of yourself, my friend and give Jazz a hug.

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    1. Mason Canyon: I am so sorry. Suicide touches far too many of us, and makes our hearts ache, and also makes us question whether we could have/should have done more. Which is awful. In the end it was his decision, and his decision not to reach out but...

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  3. Dear EC, thank you for embracing the Onenesss of us all. Thank you for your volunteering. For your listening with a concern that never judges. Thank you for your compassion and understanding. Thank you for using the dark nights and days of your own life to help others. Thank you for the deep-down goodness that touches so many lives. Peace to you in this work. Pressed down and overflowing into the lives of those who share their story and their pain with you on the phone. Peace.

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    1. Dee: Many, many thanks. I try to help, and hope that I can.

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  4. Dear Sue, you carry a beacon of hope to those who are lost and desperate. Suicide has become an epidemic, especially among the young, whether it is because if opioids and/or depression. Anxiety and bullying are so common among the young and social media plays no small part in in the rate of suicide. I fear so for my grandchildren and know that there is no easy fix for this. However, with wonderful people like you who volunteer and try to give hope to the hopeless and a caring voice to those who need it, people are saved.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: I am so grateful to have found Lifeline which is based firmly on reaching out and igniting the flickers of hope. It is not easy, and sometimes heartrending but I feel privileged to be part of it. If the callers can live their pain, I can certainly listen. Without judgement.

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  5. I can't improve on Dee's comment so I will just add my thanks to you, EC, and all the others who volunteer at Lifeline and other help lines around the world. This is such a moving post. The numbers lost to suicide are staggering.

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    1. jenny_o: They are. In one of the speeches before we set out it was said that we have found cures for so many illnesses, but despair remains untreated too often. Which made my eyes leak. Again.

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  6. This is such an important issue and it is nice to know that there are people like yourself offering assistance. I lost two friends who decided they couldn't go on anymore. The weight of the world was too much for them. (sigh-I'm crying)

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    1. Truedessa: I am sorry. On this side of the world tears were shed this morning. Rather a lot of them, but some hope was there too.
      Hugs.

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  7. Your soulfulness, hard earned, is a bright light in darkest hour. How wonderful!

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    1. Cloudia: I get an immense amount from my volunteer work. More I strongly suspect than I give.

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  8. You were there just for that one woman. And you are there for all those who call. It's a tragedy and I admire people like you who try to help others.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: Thank you. I try, as so many of us do. Last year we took over 37000 calls on the crisis line. Sadly more went unanswered. A work in progress. Always.

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  9. Again i thank you for undertaking this important work. Even one suicide is too many.

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  10. Intensely moving. I've done similar work with those of failed suicides who went on to live. A close friend was haunted by her father's suicide. It leaves such a huge trail of grief. I was in darkness myself for a long time, so I love this symbolism of coming into the light.

    Thanks for this post and your work. It has affected me profoundly.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Wisewebwoman: It was an emotional morning. A really emotional morning - and I am very glad to have gone. Suicide haunts too many families.

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  11. I am glad that you do this. It appalls me whenever people say things like "people who commit suicide are cowards." I've told people that it is cruel to say something like that because you never know if the person reading it may be suicidal or might have lost someone to suicide. It is also incorrect. People who commit suicide are not cowards, they are in despair.

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    1. The Real Cie: Not cowards, not selfish - both of which I have heard. People in pain and despair, wanting an end to it. Sadly, it is an epidemic in too many cultures.

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  12. I have been in that dark place for many years and didn't find help until I was almost leaping into that pit.

    Getting help was the wisest action.

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    1. Susan Kane: I am so glad you were able to find that help. Too many don't.

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  13. I have long been honored to call you friend. You do so much for others - often at the expense of your own well-being and health. Your community is fortunate to have you and your tireless efforts... even when you're drop dead tired. Hugs to you and get some rest. You deserve it.

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    1. River Fairchild: Many do a lot more than I manage - but thank you (and I am very, very grateful to have found you in the blogosphere). I won't be doing a lot this afternoon or evening.

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  14. Rather apt given the suicide of a high profile former sports person here. Thanks for making the effort to walk.

    "In addition there is strong evidence that if someone close to you dies by suicide your own chances of taking that path are dramatically increased." I wasn't aware of this disturbing piece of information.

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    1. Andrew: It is part of the reason that suicide seems to run in families or small communities, perhaps because it validates the option? The jury is still debating the reason, but the statistics show a frightening link.

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  15. This moved me beyond words, Sue. What a wonderful symbol for those who felt they had no hope. Thanks for participating, which must have been painful for you, and taking such beautiful photos to draw us into the moment. Thank you.

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    1. Denise Covey: Thank you. It is an emotion packed morning. We walk with survivors, with the bereaved, with the concerned. Tears are shed. Copious tears. As is right and proper. And each year the number of participants climbs - which is simultaneously sad and hopeful.

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  16. Good on ya, Sue. People who can help people in need on the phone face emotional hurdles that the rest of us can't imagine. I have found myself on the phone twice with people who wanted to end their lives. I'm happy that no one did, but it takes a toll... a hug from the Nothern Hemisphere.

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    1. Bill: I am so glad that you were able to keep those people safe, and yes, it does take a toll.

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  17. Knowing families who continue to go through this grieving process is, in itself, harrowing.
    But knowing people who reach out with comfort and help is balm to those of us coming to terms with such grief. Thank you.

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    1. dinahmow: I think that is one of the griefs which never goes away. People learn to live with it - mostly. Which is probably true of all grief.
      And yes, we try and help and sometimes (quite often I hope) succeed in a small way.

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  18. Thanks for all you do for those contemplating suicide and for those who have lost someone to suicide.

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    1. Linda Starr: Thank you. Fortunately I am in good company - lots of good company.

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  19. Beautiful shots of suicide among can't stand it anyone. Sad.

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    1. Bob Bushell: It is very sad, both for the person who believed they had no other option and for the people they leave behind.

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  20. Dear EC
    Thank goodness for you and other dedicated people like you who can help - it is such important work. I am sure I have probably said this before, but there was a TV series about Men by Grayson Perry and one programme focused on suicide, talking to a Mum whose son had died in this way. Her comment has stayed with me, 'He wanted to die today, he didn't want to die forever'. Intervention at the right time can help so much.
    I am still very much affected by the suicide of a young lad a few years ago, aged 15, who had been in my class when he was 5 and who had so much promise.
    Keep doing what you do - it is vital.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: I remember you telling me about that comment. It has stayed with me and is often at the forefront of my mind when I am doing a shift. It is very true indeed. I am sorry that you are also one of those who have been affected. Very sorry.

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  21. I always admire people like you, who are so dedicated to really important issues like this, keep up the good work☺

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    1. natalia20041989: Thank you. I hope to keep volunteering for many years to come.

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  22. Good morning Sue: I have nothing but profound admiration for the work you do, and can only conjecture how difficult it must be to have this constant exposure to people who have reached a point of total despair. It all takes a good deal of mental fortitude to embark on this walk each year with your body telling you that it is almost incapable of managing it. Australia is much the better for the service and dedication of citizens like you and from the other side of the globe please know that we are grateful. We are after all joined as one humanity and what affects Australia in a very real way affects us all. Be well, be strong - both for yourself and for others. With my very best wishes, David


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    1. David M. Gascoingne: Thank you. It is difficult work, and sometimes heart-breaking. It is also very, very rewarding. I have laughed with our callers and wept with and for them (sometimes in the same call). When I can I treat my body with ignore.

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  23. Such a beautiful country and wanting to leave it so violently. Only one life, why not cling to it, so sad, pleased there are people like you 🌹

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    1. lostinimaginaryworlds: Thank you. Sometimes the darkness is all enveloping and hides the light. Very, very successfully.

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  24. I can't begin to tell you how much I admire you for what you do. Just like firefighters, police, EMTs, physicians and nurses, you save lives. It's a horrific problem. Suicide is shattering, for the individual and the loved ones left behind. I was surprised to see the farmers on the list, though I suppose I shouldn't be.

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    1. Sandra Cox: Thank you. I was brought up to believe that I had an obligation to contribute (in positive ways) to my community. And I try. Farmers here (and the world over) do it tough. I suspect they have always feature on this sad list.

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    2. That's a wonderful thing to have engrained.
      You are probably right about the farmers. Their lives are so depend on the whims of Mother Nature and the government. They have little control of their own destiny.
      How are you and the Jazzman? Hope today is another good day.

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    3. Sandra Cox: That lesson has stuck firmly for both my youngest brother and me. I don't think either of us object either. The Jazzman is having a reasonable day. I have just finished a shift on the crisis line and am seriously knackered.

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  25. Gosh, this brought shivers in me. Reminded me of a client I had. He'd long completed the program, but didn't want to stop coming. My boss ordered me to graduate him and if he still felt he needed counseling to refer him elsewhere. The fact is, medicaid wouldn't pay for him anymore and we were a medicaid program. So I reluctantly let him go despite his pleas. Broke my heart but I referred him to another program. Two weeks later I got a call from the program that he had committed suicide. I felt so guilty.

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    1. mxtodis123: I am so very sorry to read this. Finding a service/support that you can trust is so often integral to survival. I understand you feeling guilty (I would have too) but that guilt is misplaced. Which doesn't take it away.

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  26. Into to light is where I’d like to see the discussion. For too long a suicidal death has been spoken of in hushed tones or not at all. Taking the issue into the light will not encourage more but give people the chance to discuss it.

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    1. Marie Smith: I am a firm believer that things/issues hidden in the dark have a nasty tendency to fester and grow. At least on this front we are (finally) starting to bring it into the open.

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  27. As you know I found my mom as she lay dying from a self inflicted gunshot wound when I was just 17, and I believe that shaped my life. I wish they would have had programs like this back then to help not only her but others who lived in darkness during that era. I agree, it's free to ask "Are you okay?" to hopefully get someone who is suffering from depression to start talking, or for a person who is abused and afraid. We shouldn't be immune to offering comfort or a shoulder to lean on to hopefully save a life. Thanks so much for shining a light on this very important topic. Hugs, RO

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    1. RO: I did know, and mourn for the way that tragic event shaped your life. And am awed by your resilience. Are you okay is such a simple question (but so very powerful). I do hope that more of us ask it, and that more people are ready to answer it - honestly.
      Hugs.

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  28. Thank you for doing this, and for sharing this important post with me. I have lost friends to suicide but it's been a long time. It never does stop hurting, though, when I think back to those days. Blessings from my part of the world to yours.

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    1. DJan: Thank you. That pain is universal isn't it? And very long lasting.

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  29. I came over from Andrew's blog.
    I highly admire wonderful and caring people like you, who volunteer at Lifeline. Thanks for this important post bringing awareness to the rise in suicide. My best wishes to you.

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  30. It's wonderful to know people are there to care and listen. Thanks for doing that for your people in your area. It's got to be difficult but I'm glad you are there.

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    1. Strayer: I am privileged to be invited into so many people's lives.

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  31. Thanks EC - this is near to home for me to read and then I heard of a girl who, the family believe, was trying to make a point - but sadly she didn't live ... she just unintentionally committed suicide. ... so I appreciate your post and the information you provide. Too terrible.

    In this day and age we should all be more empathetic to others ... and especially our leaders should be setting examples ... so much more can be done to help others in the 21st century, than was available in the 20th and earlier ...

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention - Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: It is indeed terrible. A mostly hidden epidemic. I agree about the need for sympathy, and empathy and the role our leaders could/should play.

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  32. Thank you for supporting this much needed cause. It feels like so many are loosing hope and sees no way out. Having someone who cares and are ready to listen is so important.
    Hugs, Julia

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    1. Julia: Listening is the first skill we are taught before we go on the phones. It is surprisingly difficult to listen, and more so to listen to other's pain. As difficult as it is, it is also incredibly rewarding.

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  33. 'Come walk with me, through the cool dawn, into the hopeful light of a new day.' - I did, and it was beautiful, thank you dearie. To be enabled able to ask for help is so important, empathy and kindness helps a great deal X

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    1. Starshine Twinkletoes: I am glad you walked with me, as you so often do.

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  34. I have lost friends to suicide & it's been whispered that my paternal grandmother ended her life. The work you are engaged in is so important. Your mentioning that one degree of ambivalence is important. People need to know and believe that they have options. x

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    1. Bea: Sometimes that ambivalence is tiny. Knowing and believing are also sometimes poles apart. We try, and hopefully the difference we make is positive.

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  35. Thank you for sharing this important walk with us and the pictures you took during it. I think starting in the dark goes along with the message and it gives people time to really think about why they are walking and who they are walking for. Over the years I have had friends that have take their own life. Two of them just a year ago (a month apart). Thinking of them today and reaching out to those who I feel may need someone to talk to.

    Hugs.
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~Jess: Thank you. The symbolism of starting in the dark and moving into the light means a lot to me, and I am glad to hear I am not alone. I am sorry for your losses and really glad to hear that you are reaching out.

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  36. This is such an important conversation and undertaking. I just counted back; it is more than fifty years since I lost my brother. My sister reminds me he would be balding by now, and probably paunchy. But he's still the curly headed, blue eyed brother who was my buddy.
    We have made so much progress in bi-polar disorder since back then Shame.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Too many losses, way too many. We are making steps in the right direction, but strides are needed.

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  37. Thank you EC for all that you do and thank you to the people around you who help as well. It's all so sad! We all need someone to talk to, or get a hug, to know it's ok!!! My heart goes out to all who have been lost in this world! EC, I hope you walk with a walker!!! Thank you for sharing these special pictures! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow: No walker. Yet. And I didn't (but should have) take my cane either.

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    2. Please take care of you! You are special! Big Hugs!

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    3. Magic Love Crow: Many thanks. I don't feel special, but love your kindness.

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  38. Beautifully written, EC. Thank you for the part you play in such important work. Like many others, I have known people who have taken their own lives, including two lovely young people whom I taught.
    Arohanui.

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    1. Alexia: Many thanks. Those losses scar us don't they?

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  39. Such an important cause.. such good work you do. There is so much hurt and loneliness out there.

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    1. Hena Tayeb: Thank you. I think that loneliness underpins at least 90 percent of the calls (not just suicide related) that we receive.

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  40. Not had anyone close to me die but friends of friends and a distance family member and yes they were all males and young it is very sad that they think this is the only way.
    Merle............

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    1. Merlesworld: It is incredibly sad, and I wonder whether the 'tough male' mentality has something to do with it, through preventing them admitting they are in trouble and need help.

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  41. Depression is a deep, dark hole many fall into...myself included.

    Those, like yourself, EC...who give of their time deserve to be commended for your thoughtful, caring help.

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  42. I have always admired your volunteering work despite your health issues. I think the idea of walking at dawn from darkness into the light of the day is a very moving thing to do for people who have lost loved ones and those that are struggling to remain on this earth. I am wondering why Australia has such a high rate of suicide? I am just about to go to Australia for 6 weeks but have all my post scheduled in (bit of a marathon that was!) Unfortunately I will not be commenting while I am away but as often as I can will look at bloggers posts. I know it will be Sue and my month for the stories so I will just have to see if on holiday if I have any time to do that. When I suggested October I did not know I was going to be away from home. I hope you understand.

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    1. Margaret Birding For Pleasure: I get more from my volunteering than I am able to give, but thank you.
      You do travel a lot. Have fun in my country. I hope you will be able to see your posts and the creations they inspire, but do indeed understand.

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  43. I don't think I can say anything here that hasn't already been said. I continue to admire your commitment to the walk and to Lifeline.

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    1. River: Thank you. I get a whole lot more than I am able to give.

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  44. On channel 9 news right now, there is a new thing happening with people in Jamestown painting trees blue and adding RUOK as a message on the trunks, in hopes of starting conversations. I think that's wonderful.

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    1. River: That sounds WONDERFUL. I hope that it does spark conversations. Lots of them.

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  45. Oh Sue, what a wonderful and deeply moving post.
    I think that what you are doing is amazing, and thank you so, so much for sharing this walk with us.
    Suicide is a growing problem here too. Again, more males are affected than females...but both groups are increasing exponentially.
    The sad thing is, that there is no help for anyone here anymore. The waiting lists are currently upwards of three years, and for many sufferers, that is too late.🙁
    I, too, have felt suicidal in the past...and do still have that tendency at times, so I fully understand the feelings of hopelessness and utter despair that these poor people are going through.
    I am SO in awe of people like you...who are there on the phone when sufferers are desperate...you are a true lifeline. You are amazing.
    I only wish there could be more medical help for those in crisis...😢

    Sending you much love and hugs ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

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    1. Ygraine: I am so sorry to hear that you battle these feeling too. And hope that there are people around you that you can reach out to. Huge hugs. And yes, I really, really wish that medical support was more readily available.

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  46. I really like the candles - something so divine about a candle flame in remembrance. "Right or wrong, it is always a tragedy."

    Bless you, precious soul.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: I find the candles moving too - to signify the lights snuffed out too soon, and to show a glimmer of light and hope.

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  47. Thank you and bless you.

    Thank goodness their are those like you that do so much to help those who are in such despair. You and all who help are special people.

    Thank you for sharing your photographs too.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member: I am constantly awed and amazed by the resilience of our callers, and learn so much from them.
      Thank you.

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  48. This is such important work you do. Reminded me of an ancient Indian prayer - (Take me) from the darkness towards the light, from ignorance towards the Truth, from death to Deathlessness. Kudos to you and to all those out working for this laudable cause.

    The photos are as usual stunning.

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: Thank you. I love that prayer too - isn't that what we all hope for? (Though on further thought I don't want eternal life.)

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  49. Thank you for helping people see the light, EC. You are a beautiful person. I'm so glad you were able to participate in the walk despite the pain you were in. I'm certain you made a difference as you walked beside others. Much love and light to you.

    Elsie

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    1. Elsie Amata: Thank you. I am very, very glad I went too. And hope I did make a positive difference.

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  50. I'm glad this walk brings comfort to the bereaved.
    Trusting today is a good day for you and Jazzman.
    Hugs

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    1. Sandra Cox: I really, really like this walk's focus.

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  51. The walk is a great way of letting others they are not alone. Very moving post. It is a blessing to know that there are those like you in the world.

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    1. DeniseinVA: Thank you. I am one of many. Which is a wonderful thought.

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  52. I feel honored to know a person that devotes any of their working time to such a worthy cause.

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    1. Lon Anderson: Thank you. My voluntary work means a great deal to me.

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    1. Shammickite: I wish you could. I would happily walk with you (and rather a lot of other bloggers too).

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  54. This isn't the first time you've written about this subject, and it moves me as much now as it did the first time I read about it. It seems most of us have been affected by suicide in one way or another, and I admire you greatly for the volunteer work you do with the help line... and with this walk. If you save even one person, comfort even one person, it is more than worth it. (But I know you've helped many.) You're my hero, sweet Sue.

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    1. Susan: Thank you. I hope to continue writing about this subject - and hope even more fervently that I can help/provide comfort.

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  55. Loved your night walk. I was listening to the survivor of a jump of the Golden Gate Bridge. He said that if just one person on the bus taking him to the bridge had given him a kind word he wouldn't have tried it. On the way down, he changed his mind and was fighting to surface and stay alive. A sea lion saved him.

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: That sounds like a very lucky man. I wonder how many others have changed their mind at the eleventh hour (too late).

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  56. Hi, I follow you on gfc #366, follow back? ;)

    https://bubasworld.blogspot.com/

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  57. Here in Toronto, there has been an average of 20 suicides on the subway system each year. Up to now, it hasn't really been talked about, keeping the subject out of the public eye, but a new transit initiative is to bring the problem out into the open and ask the travelling public to give a kind word or encouragement to anyone who looks depressed or in difficulties. I hope it works.

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    1. Shammickite: I really like that initiative. We are (or should be) a community after all. I too hope it works.

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  58. Sue, you are a much better person than I. I have had bursitis in my hips and I know the pain of trying to walk. But you are so dedicated to your cause, a cause we all should take up, that you suffer that pain. I am glad you do this and that there is such a program in Australia. I have lost two friends to suicide and have known others on the verge of taking their lives. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, a kind word or just showing interest in another to make the difference. I admire you so, so much for the volunteer work you do.

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    1. Glenda Beall: Bursitis is nasty isn't it? My voluntary work is hugely important to me, and I hope to be able to continue if for some time to come. Trite as it sounds I DO get more out of it than I am able to contribute. I am sorry to hear that the scourge of suicide has touched your life as well.

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